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pastel on pastel board 13.5" x 13.5"

Pastels still feel like a new medium, but I'm beginning to realize that despite what I've heard, it's not necessary to have 500 pastel sticks to get the colors you need- just keep blending, then layering, etc. But I am starting to dream of having 500, no mistake about it! 
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oil on canvas mounted on board 12 1/4" x 15

This is a study of oranges in preparation for a class. Turns out I kind of like it.

My business is humming along pretty well for being so new. Life Drawing on Sundays has been filling up, as are my classes and classes taught by others.

Here are some negative space studies by some students in charcoal that I think are quite effective:





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charcoal and white pastel on blue paper 18" x 12"

Time has flown by since I opened my new business, and things are going well. I taught four classes this fall, and am getting ready to teach two this winter, and they are almost full. My four rentable studios are rented (one to me of course!)

But it's hard to not feel a little blue at my lack of time to focus on my own work. At least I fit this drawing in!
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Yesterday the doors to 7th Street Studios opened to the public. An avalanche of hard work has devoured all my time (and the time of some lovely volunteers) for the past two months, so today I think I'll.......just relax and do some laundry.

Anyhow, here are some photos of the place all fixed up. The only things missing are the shoji screens I've ordered, which will be put into floor stands so the panels line up straight, and used to divide a few studios off from the large, main space.

These photos were all taken before any people came, but there were many visitors!

Classes begin Oct. 18. 

Looking north, with a painting by muralist Tim Gibson in the background.


A place to relax.


 My still life collection- finally enough space for it all and room for more!


 A collection of plaster casts, several from the Giust Gallery near Boston.
Three more are on the way!

Classes begin Oct. 18. 
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I've got intense plans underway to open an art center in my hometown of Perkasie, which is central to the Upper Bucks County area. 7th Street Studios will have some exhibition space, and room for an art supply retail shop, but the primary use will be for drawing and painting classes and open membership studio space for artists.

One major draw is going to be a fine collection of plaster cast sculptures for subject matter, as well as large collections of seashells, old tools, plants- anything that holds visual fascination for artists.
Here are a few sculptures on my shopping list, all sold by the Guist Gallery, near Boston. The quality seems so superior to other plaster casts sold online in the U.S. Which ones do you like best?






I have a Kickstarter campaign to raise $2000- which I must meet or I get nothing. This will help pay for the sculptures, wooden easels and a digital projector for "artist talks". I'm using my own funds to cover the other costs (of which there are many!)

If you would consider giving any amount at all- even $1- please go for it! Thanks so much.

More details about 7th Street Studios can be found at the website.
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oil on linen mounted on board 8" x 8"
purchase

I've been patiently plugging away at this painting of a shell hung on my studio wall, but now that it's finished I'm changing direction for a while. 

I'm excited and proud to say that I'm going to be opening a new business in September, and need to spend August getting ready. 

Seventh Street Studios will open its doors this fall in Perkasie, PA. It's a beautiful 3000 square foot space that will be home to several studio spaces as well as two teaching areas, exhibition space and room for things such as group crits, artist talks and watching films about art and artists. It's a dream I've had for a long time, and I'm super excited. 
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oil on canvas mounted on board 6" x 6"

I love the shape of all pears, but especially this one with its chunky bottom.
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oil on canvas mounted on board 8" x 6"

I'm running a summer painting group, where we try out a new challenge each week. The idea is to try something a little different- a new technique or subject matter that we aren't quite comfortable using yet. 

This week's challenge was to paint on black gesso. I found the process intriguing. It felt more like using pastel than paint, because the lights stand out so beautifully against the dark surface, but the paint had to be built up thickly to really cover the black. 

I enjoyed keeping the shadow areas large simple shapes, and letting the black peep through here and there. 


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oil on board 8" x 6"
purchase

I still have my mind on this guy. My first portrait of him was a profile view, and I wanted to try painting his full face. I like his expression here, which I interpret as a mixture of caution and intelligence. 

When I paint a portrait, getting a likeness that satisfies me usually doesn't happen until the final day. There is lots of fussing over the mouth and eyes, but overall I may spend more time on the non-features, like the folds of skin under the eyes, and the shape of the forehead, cheeks and chin. That's where the real likeness is found. 

My recipe for painting a portrait from an image:

1. Paint simultaneously from a color image and a black-and-white version to get both the colors and values right.

2. Paint the entire thing upside down, but frequently turn it right-side up to check results frequently.

3. Paint the details, then when you get tired of them and the painting seems to be going nowhere, move your easel back 12 feet from the images and paint from that distance. It's help pull the portrait together, and the main large shapes will be more apparent. 
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oil on canvas mounted on board 8"x 8"

This was a tough one. The still life was lit with such a strong spotlight that I needed to keep the shadows fairly dark in order to show their strong contrast with the brilliantly lit areas. As always, I never seem to feel sure as to how much detail I want to include. Sometimes lots of detail helps a painting be strong, sometimes it hurts! 
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